Some people feel that dental fees in Alberta are more expensive than other provinces in Canada and Alberta dentists charge too much. Some articles in the news claim that there are patients who will cross the border to British Columbia for cheaper dental treatment. There are even patients who travel all the way to Mexico for cheaper treatment. The media is not helping the situation running articles and stories without thorough research.
We cannot deny that the good people of Alberta have come across some tough times with the drop in oil prices and poor economy. At Ora Dental we have experienced this first hand in our office, and certainly we are not the only dental office (or business). It is always tough for anyone to hear someone say: “I lost my job” or “I just found out I was laid off and will no longer have dental insurance”.
It may be true that dental prices in Alberta are more higher than other provinces in Canada; however, one needs to question the reason for the higher prices. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as Alberta not having a fee guide, whereas other provinces do, and dentists in Alberta get to charge whatever they wish.
The Alberta Dental Association and College has a good website with some more information. Please refer to link below.
Here is an excerpt:
“Dental fees are based on the costs of doing business. The average cost of doing business in Alberta is higher than other provinces. For dentists, these costs include capital costs for establishing a practice, rent, dental instruments, staff salaries, equipment, computers and other materials. Dentists must meet the provincial Infection Prevention and Control standards which are higher than most other jurisdictions and come at significant cost.”
And, sometimes it is not only about the fees for a dental procedure, or a ‘fee guide’ regulating prices. The total cost for dental treatment will differ according to the overall treatment plan. Is it really more affordable for the patient if the fee schedule dictates lower individual procedure costs, but the total fee for the complete treatment plan delivered is more higher?
At Ora Dental, we like to believe we are sensitive to our patients needs, and the difficult economy. We strive to treat our patients like family. We want to get to know our patients and work together to determine individualized dental care needs and customized treatment options. Despite the poor economy, there are still rising costs to run a dental practice. However, Ora Dental has maintained our dental fees to keep costs affordable for our patients.
We have good, honest dentists and dental clinics in Alberta who strive to support the public’s oral and overall health. Instead of attacking dentists maybe the media can turn their attention to dental insurance companies and how they make their riches.